Evie Shockley


from The Lost Letters of Frederick Douglass

June 5, 1892

Dear Daughter,
Can you be fifty-three this
month? I still look for you to peek around
my door as if you’ d discovered a toy
you thought gone for good, ready at my smile
to run up and press your fist into my
broken palm. But your own girls have outgrown
such games, and I cannot pilfer back time
I spent pursuing Freedom. Fair to you,
to your brothers, your mother? Hardly.